Sunday, March 04, 2007

Nobody Walks in L.A.

The Acura L.A. Bike Tour, which is a fancy way of saying the bike ride that goes with the L.A. Marathon, fired up today at 5:50 a.m. (oh-dark-thirty in metric). Past tours have more or less followed the marathon course. This year the marathon radically changed its course. The bike tour course was also changed, but it was nothing like the new marathon course. I didn't find anywhere that said how long the bike tour course was. I'm assuming it was about 20 miles or a little over.

Since we started before first light, we got fireworks at the start. Funny thing, the fireworks. They were shot up from inside the L.A. Coliseum, which put me in mind of my mother’s girlhood memories of watching fireworks in the same spot from her house just the other side of Crenshaw. Last year’s bike tour took us over to Crenshaw, past her old high school, not far from where she used to live. This year we didn’t go anywhere close.

As with any bike ride, there’s a lot of just riding along. You get some occasional payoff panoramas, though, like this shot of downtown L.A., from the 6th Street bridge—a view you normally would get only from a car.

Congregational Church looking good in the morning light.

Close to the finish. I started further back in the pack than I did on last year’s ride—nearly at the end. But I’d say this year’s ride got moving more smoothly and more quickly than last year’s. For about the first 10 minutes we were barely moving, pushing along at a walking pace. But almost as soon as people got on their bikes and started pedaling, there was room to go at whatever speed you were comfortable with. Last year felt packed like sardines for the first several miles. New route may have made a difference.

By the end of the ride, I either was near the front or felt like I was, which is all that really mattered.

Everybody gets a medal.

Many happy bikers!

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